Plaza de Mayor

The weather is perfect in Madrid. See below. You don't need your jacket, and you certainly don't need socks with thongs, unless you want to make a fashion statement. 

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That picture is of plaza mayor. It's a centrepiece of the tourist district in Madrid. It is full of buskers dressing up as potential photo opportunities. The tourists give them money and get a shot, see below, bottom left and right. The top left is some women who stole the kids from the pied piper guy. Madrid is full of groups of people who seem to be doing dares, having bucks and hens do's, or generally just acting strange. A perfect place for people watching.

Exhibit A. 

Exhibit A. 

Back to the dress ups, this Mickey Mouse one seemed normal, until you noticed his man hands. I know Mickey Mouse is meant to be male, but a full grown man, with hairy hands? It seemed borderline wrong to be luring young children in for pictures. I won't go any further with this... Oh shit, Hanning just pointed out it's actually Minnie Mouse. It gets worse...

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My personal favourite is fat Spiderman. He is proud of him claim to fame, and has a replica statue of himself in his quarter, marking his spot when he is off roaming around high fiving people. I saw him yesterday and was trying to take a picture but he kept facing the wrong direction. Coincidence? I hoped not, but today he did the same thing, and then proceeded to point at me and start abusing me. I couldn't have dreamt up something so good. "ITALIANO PAPARAZZI! ITALIANO PAPARAZZI." If I wasn't having such a great day, this would have been a highlight. He wanted coin for the pic, but he is obviously making a decent living from this endeavour. By the way, I'm Italian now. I'm off to wax my moustache. 

Fat spiderman. 

Fat spiderman. 

More of the characters.

More of the characters.

We had just entered the plaza district when I noticed a commotion. Was that chanting? I dragged Steven, Elaine, Karl and Matisse in the general direction. Suddenly, the police escort emerges, the lo and behold, a massive protest.

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More Coke promotions. Coke sponsor everything, including this tourist attraction. Over the grammarphone the Spanish chanting stops, and the English translation begins. 

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"Boycott Coke. They have stripped our community. They are talking our houses. They are taking our jobs. They are making Spain poverty. They have stripped us of our wealth." This man then proceeds to demonstrate the latter by taking off his clothes, but ensuring his costume doesn't compromise his masculinity.  

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The protestors were leaving a trail of anti coke paper, stickers and other rubbish behind them. Nek minit. Cleaners magically appeared, picking up the debris and removing the remnants from this anti commercial protest, even removing plastered posters from poles. That's efficiency. Certainly they were on the Coke payroll. 

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We were so exhilarated from the commotion, we went to have a relaxing drink. But in the absence of Coke, and affiliated products, we were forced to have sangria for lunch.